Mycobacterium leprae-induced demyelination: a model for early nerve degeneration.Curr Opin Immunol. 2004 Aug; 16(4):511-8.CO
The molecular events that occur at the early phase of many demyelinating neurodegenerative diseases are unknown. A recent demonstration of rapid demyelination and axonal injury induced by Mycobacterium leprae provides a model for elucidating the molecular events of early nerve degeneration which might be common to neurodegenerative diseases of both infectious origin and unknown etiology. The identification of the M. leprae-targeted Schwann cell receptor, dystroglycan, and its associated molecules in myelination, demyelination and axonal functions suggests a role for these molecules in early nerve degeneration.